02:47 PM

Smartphone 2010: What Your Future Phone Will Be Packing

Over the next two years, a new generation of mobile processors and faster mobile networks will combine to put the power of a PC onto the smartphone in your pocket.

What can we expect from our smartphones two years from now? That's a pretty short amount of time, but a number of technologies that have been in development for years are about to jump from lab to factory, and straight into the next generation of mobile devices. Rather than explore the what-if's and could-be's of future smartphones, let's take a reality-based look at what's coming around the bend.

Top Features Of Next-Gen Smartphones

•   Access To Faster Mobile Networks

•   Always-On Internet Connectivity

•   More-Powerful Processors

•   Location-Driven Apps

•   Greater Memory Capacity, Options

•   User-Targeted Handsets

The smartphones of 2010 are not going to be leaps and bounds better than they are today, but they will be closer to becoming the single most important devices we own. "There are three key trends that will cause a fundamental change in the role and nature of smartphones over the next few years: broadband everywhere, digitization of all content, and pocket computing power," said Juergen Stark, corporate VP and general manager of Motorola's Mobile Devices.

These trends have already turned cell phones into smartphones and will drive the evolution of smartphones into devices that are always connected, that have access to all of your digital content as well as to the Web, and that provide a wider array set of personal services.

A Smart Phone Is A Connected Phone
According to Motorola's Stark, there are three components in this future solution: the mobile hardware, the mobile operating systems, and the Web-based ecosystem. "This ecosystem will include many apps and services that will come from a variety of providers, big and small, but will be anchored around a few key services," he said. "The other apps and services will be like smaller tenants around anchor tenants at the mall. Those key services will be: communications, contacts, calendar, location services, payment, identity, and content access/management."

The biggest opportunities and changes will come with broadband Internet connectivity that is available no matter where you are. The next generation of wireless networks is on its way. Verizon Wireless and Sprint already have 3G networks up and running across most of the United States. AT&T is slowly catching up, and T-Mobile will eventually get around to rolling out its own high-speed network as well. These 3G networks will evolve to 3.5G networks in two years time, meaning faster downloading and uploading of content via smartphones. While 4G networks on are the horizon, none will be widespread in just two years.

Smartphones, more than any other device, will be able to take advantage of these networks to empower users to do or access nearly anything.

But they will need better processing muscle to take advantage of the faster networks. Enter Intel's Moorestown chip. Due in about two years, Moorestown is the soul of an old machine -- a PC -- in miniature. It's an x86 processor with a graphics adapter, shrunk onto a chip that fits on board a smartphone.

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